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A Science of Human Nature? Philosophical Disputes at the Interface of Natural and Social Science

Objective

Recent years have seen renewed attempts on the part of natural scientists to invigorate and inform the social sciences. Two prominent examples include the efforts of cultural evolutionary theorists to account for cultural change and cultural stasis, and the efforts of evolutionary psychologists to provide a scientific account of human nature. In both cases, these efforts have met considerable resistance from the social sciences, especially from social anthropology. This project proceeds from a conviction that antagonism between these disciplines can often be explained by deep, and unacknowledged, philosophical differences regarding the nature of scientific explanation, the composition of culture, and the characterisation of human nature. This large project asks: “What philosophical disputes lie at the foundations of disagreement between the natural and social sciences? How can an exposition and adjudication of these disputes point the way towards a reconciliation of the two domains?”

Field of science

  • /social sciences/sociology/anthropology/social and cultural anthropology

Call for proposal

ERC-2011-StG_20101124
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
Address
Trinity Lane The Old Schools
CB2 1TN Cambridge
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 354 917
Principal investigator
Timothy Mark Lewens (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Renata Schaeffer (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (1)

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 1 354 917
Address
Trinity Lane The Old Schools
CB2 1TN Cambridge
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Timothy Mark Lewens (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Renata Schaeffer (Ms.)